Trinity- There is one God, eternally existing in three Divine Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, equal in nature, power and glory.
Scriptural Evidence for the Trinity
(This makes it clear that there are three members of the Godhead.)
"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”
(This is further evidence of the plurality of the Godhead. God refers to Himself while in the creative act as “Us.”)
“Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’”
(Yet more evidence of plurality.)
“Then the LORD God said, ‘Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever.’”
That there is plurality to the Godhead is obvious throughout Scripture. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are referenced to over and over again. This is no surprise since the story of the world is all about God.
The sticky part comes when people try to say that, though there are three members, they are distinct and not one and the same. Correct Biblical belief is that they are one essence but have three different manifestations and roles. False belief is anything which says that the members of the Trinity are not all the one and same God.
“I and the Father are one.”
This is as blatant of a claim of Deity as Jesus can make. The Jews, who considered Him a blasphemer for equating Himself with God, picked up stones to throw at Him (John 10:31). The Jews had no doubt as to what He was trying to say, and neither should we. In fact, the central message of the gospel of John is that Jesus was God.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
The literal translation is that “God was the Word.” In other words, John’s first statement is that God is Jesus. They are one and the same. This is John’s message.
“For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form.”
This is another obvious statement as to the Deity of Christ. There is no question that Jesus was God in bodily form. He was fully God and yet fully man at the same time, another brain teaser. Yet this is what the Scripture indicates and certainly God could do it. Indeed, He did.
The Father is clearly the final authority and master of the universe. At present, it is Christ’s job to “bring all things into subjection under His [the Father’s] feet” (1 Corinthians 15:24-25). Our minds might say, well if Jesus is one with the Father, aren’t they doing it together? In some mystical way they probably are, but it is also clear that they are not. Each is doing something separate. For example, the Father did not die on the cross, but “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son” to die on the cross (John 3:16). There are different roles, but somehow when we have seen Christ, we have seen the Father also (John 14:9). It is a divine mystery, yet one we must embrace. Jesus is God, and yet Father and Son have different roles as well.
Scripture says that the Holy Spirit indwells each and every believer.
1 Corinthians 6:19
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?”
Yet, John 14:23 says that the Father and the Son make their home in the believer also.
“Jesus answered and said to him, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.’”
The conclusion is that the Holy Spirit also is God, one and the same in nature and essence. All three indwell the believer. It is an amazing truth, that the God who created the world indwells each of us. We are the body of Christ (Ephesians 1:22-23), a temple being put together in which He indwells (Ephesians 2:22).
For example, only the Spirit is described as “filling” the believer.
“And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit.”
Jesus actually says to the disciples that it will be better for them if He goes to the Father and the Spirit comes to minister to them (John 16:7). Couldn’t Jesus do what the Spirit is sent to do? I imagine He could, but that is not His role. It is not the way God the Father ordained it. It is the Spirit’s job to lead the disciples of God into all truth. Notice that the Spirit only speaks what He is told to speak. Who is telling Him what to say? Another member of the Trinity. There are different roles.
"But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.”
Here is one other example of the Spirit’s distinct role, though there are many more. Only the Spirit convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment.
“And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.”
“In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”
When we pray, the Spirit helps us. We, like in the rest of life, are totally insufficient in and of ourselves to be able to pray. The Spirit intercedes for us, guiding us into what we are to say. Jesus is described later in this chapter in verse 34 as the One who intercedes for the saints. Thus, here we can see that it is Jesus who searches our hearts and knows what the mind of the Spirit is. There is a tag team type of effort going on here when we pray. Yet both the Spirit and the Son are under the authority of the Father, guiding us to pray according to the will of God, so that we can have our prayers answered. All three members of the Trinity labor together to bring glory to the Father through our prayers. What a privilege it is that God would work in and through us to be part of accomplishing His will!
Side Note: Technically we ought to pray to the Father, since the Spirit and the Son are doing works of helping and interceding. Only a proper understanding of theology would allow us to know how to pray rightly, one of the most basic things that a Christian does. Theology is what undergirds everything. It cannot be minimized.
All the members of the Trinity are one. They are all the God of the universe, the God who created the world, and the God will be with the believer forever in eternity. Each has a particular role. The Father is the supreme authority, the Son does the will of the Father, and the Spirit speaks only what He is told to speak. There is a clear authority structure. Yet they are all one essence, filling the universe (Ephesians 1:23) and holding all things together (Colossians 1:17). It is truly a mystery, but a wonderful mystery. The Trinity shows us how God is a relational God, a loving God, and a God of order and authority. He has chosen to involve us in His work, though keeping us in the proper place of dependence upon Him.